Benediction - _Killing Music_
(Nuclear Blast, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
It's easy to forget about the spot that Benediction occupies in the English extreme metal lexicon. While it's true that they haven't exactly been prolific over the last several years, their third full-length, _Transcend the Rubicon_, still stands out as a death metal classic, not to mention the fact that Napalm Death's Barney Greenway once featured as their chief larynx-shredder.

_Killing Music_ comes at us some six years after their last studio outing and it's instantly lent an additional layer of menace, simply by virtue of Anaal Nathrakh's Dave Hunt being present in the vocal booth. Sticking to more traditional death metal growling as opposed to the unhinged shrieking exhibited in his other musical guise, he imbues each track on this record with a level of aggression easily spiking far above anything to bear the Benediction logo previously. The band themselves have also sharpened their act up some. Still sticking vehemently to their old school mantra, songs like "They Must Die Screaming" and "Wrath & Regret" boast hooks a-plenty -- enough to make what could so easily have ended up as a fairly tawdry slab of vintage death metal be consistently engaging from start to finish.


(article published 9/8/2008)

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